Tax Sales & Title Issues in
St. Louis city
If you are like many budding real estate investors, you are interested in purchasing properties via tax sales or tax liens. This can allow investors like yourself to purchase properties at large discounts, and our firm can help you navigate the complexities to help you get the property you want and deal with the title issues that often result.
There are actually two different processes for the sale of properties with unpaid taxes in Missouri. Most counties in Missouri – including St. Louis, St. Charles, and Jefferson Counties, operate under the non-judicial formula prescribed by the Jones-Munger Act ( RSMo. Chapter 140 ). The City of St. Louis, however, follows a judicial process under the Municipal Land Reutilization Law (“MLRL” – RSMo. 92.700, et. seq.).
In the City of St. Louis, the following process is followed:
- After taxes are delinquent for three or more years, the Tax Collector files a
lawsuit to foreclose its lien of delinquent taxes.
- Six months after the completion of this lawsuit, the property is auctioned to the highest bidder.
- If you are the highest bidder at a sale, there is no redemption period, but the property must go through a court hearing “Confirmation Process” that will include an appraisal and expert testimony. Additional information on this confirmation process can be found here.
- If you are successful in obtaining confirmation, you will complete some additional steps including (but not limited to) applying for an occupancy permit
- Then the City Sheriff will issue a Sheriff’s deed to the purchaser.
Once you have a Sheriff’s deed to the property, you are considered the owner of that property, but that does NOT mean you have clear title to the property. because most reputable title companies will not provide title insurance at this point due to concerns they have with the judicial process used by St. Louis City. These complexities are outside of the scope of this article, but we hope to provide additional information in future blog posts.
For many owner-occupants, the Confirmation Process in St. Louis City will be sufficient for their needs, and we would be happy to assist you with that and, if you need it, with the tax sale purchases themselves.
For investors, real estate developers and other sorts of purchasers in St. Louis City, you might need to take additional steps in order to obtain clear title, obtain title insurance, and then be able to successfully sell the property at a profit. These options most often include a Quiet Title lawsuit, obtaining written releases from prior owners, or allowing the passage of ten years (the amount of time required to obtain adverse possession if certain requirements are met).
If you are wanting to invest in tax sales or need to go through the St. Louis City
“Confirmation Process” or a quiet title suit for a property, please reach out to us and take advantage of the flat fee pricing we can usually offer in this area. Contact us today by clicking here, or by calling us directly at 314.862.2237.